Often during a closet cleanout, my clients will ask if there are places to donate their clothing. After meeting Kerry, Katy, and Shelly, I now have a perfect option for my clients. Kerry, Katy, and Shelly are three strong, female, cancer survivors who founded a nonprofit that combines fashion and funding for people fighting cancer. Their mission is to provide financial resources and relief to those fighting cancer. I was so inspired talking to these women and I am so glad I can share their story and their mission. If my previous blog posts haven’t inspired you to clean out your closet, these ladies will for sure do the trick! Welcome the women of The Cancer Cartel to our My LA Lifestyle family!
- Introduce yourself and tell us why you founded the Cancer Cartel.
We are Kerry, Katy, and Shelly, three cancer survivors who knew that we were called to make a difference. Our survivorship of some of the toughest challenges life can throw at you has inspired us to take something we love – fashion – and create an organization that will make a significant difference in the lives of people who are facing challenges similar to the ones that we faced.
- Were fashion and your self-image important before you were diagnosed?
Absolutely! We are all lifelong fashionistas! We all three know that sticking with our commitment to self-image and self-esteem carried us through our illness. We continued to do our makeup and get dressed even when we felt our worst.
- Was it challenging to style yourself during treatment? If so, what was most challenging?
For Shelly & Katy, it was having a port for chemo that was hard to conceal. Shelly went through a period with one breast, and Kerry went through a period with none- that is extremely challenging.
- Did fashion help your self-confidence and mental health during your treatment?
Absolutely!! When you stay in your sweats all day, you tend to be more depressed. But if you get yourself up and get dressed, even if it is just fancy loungewear, it makes a huge difference.
- How did you decide to combine fashion and charity?
It was an organic idea. It was conceived on a car ride home from another charity event. We just knew we had to do something. We knew it had to be fun. We all three have a passion for fashion, and we created Cancer Cartel.
- What are the common financial burdens that cancer patients deal with that most people wouldn’t know?
Cancer is expensive. And it isn’t just deductibles, prescriptions, and hospital bills. The hidden costs, the every-day expenses that increase are the ones we want to help with. Your fuel bill goes up, you have to pay to park at the hospital, you have to eat at the hospital. You have to make choices between little league and medical bills. We understand, and we are going to help.
- How can a closet cleanout help your charity?
We know that everyone has a great bag, a stunning piece of jewelry, some lovely shoes, or a fabulous dress, or an outfit that is just too nice to drop off at the Goodwill, and they don’t want to take the time to sell on the Real Real, so that is where we come in. Donate the items to us, get a nice tax write off, and know in your heart that the proceeds from the sale will go to help someone fighting for their life.
If you are interested in supporting The Cancer Cartel, please visit their website and Instagram, CancerCartel.com and @cancercartel, or shop their eBay page to shop and donate, Cancer Cartel eBay Page.
Written by: Caitlin Jaymes
Photo Credits: CancerCartel.com